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CSC’s Yogesh Khanna: Four “layers” of cloud implementation will see greater demand

CSC's Yogesh Khanna: Four "layers" of cloud implementation will see greater demand - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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CSC has been offering a framework for clouds that encompasses infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, software as a service, and business processes as services. Several public sector clients have already gotten on board. Among them is JPL NASA, the Jet Propulsion Lab of the agency. CSC introduced them to the concept of a trusted cloud infrastructure over the past year, which they are using today. Then there“™s the City of Los Angeles. Several months ago, CSC won a contract alongside Google to migrate the City“™s email and collaboration system from a GroupWise environment to a Google Apps environment. The result: City employees will now be able to use a more flexible and agile application.

To a large degree, the procurement by the City of Los Angeles was modeled after what Washington, DC accomplished under then CTO, Vivek Kundra. Now, as Federal CIO, Kundra, alongside the Office of Management and Budget, has continued to back cloud solutions. The question now is agency readiness and trust.

The cloud: three-pronged approach

For Yogesh Khanna, CSC CTO, helping customers migrate to clouds requires addressing opposite ends of a spectrum: the art of the possible and the fear of the unknown. Navigating those two extremes involves a three-pronged approach: cloud consulting services to establish a cloud roadmap for clients; integration services to orchestrate the right cloud, the right way to meet clients“™ business requirements; and a portfolio of cloud services, what Khanna refers to as “cloud consumables,“ that are part of that four-layer framework, such as IaaS or SaaS.

Agency adoption

In the midst of customer apprehension “” “understandable,“ says Khanna, “given there are plenty of barriers that still exist“ “” how should implementation begin? “I believe consolidation, standardization, and virtualizing the current environment“” making sure that you“™re not running multiple instances of different operating systems, or computing platforms, and optimizing your current environment “” is a logical set of steps to get ready for clouds,“ he says.

Also essential, says Khanna, is not jumping in blindly. “We have a lot of clients thinking about using clouds, to which I say, “˜Resist the temptation to jump into just any cloud,“™ says Khanna. “We like to say at CSC, “˜Aim higher, jump into the right trusted cloud.“™ Also, create and capture new enterprise value, from a security and reliability perspective. The value that clouds generate will not be by taking existing infrastructure or applications and putting them in a cloud; but will rather be realized by developing next generation services and applications that are architected to exploit the scalable and elastic cloud computing platform.“

CSC cloud developments

CSC is developing a set of cloud services that deliver security, transparency, and control.  “These three core attributes are integral to CSC“™s cloud services portfolio and allow us to earn the trust of our clients.“  “Clouds, while they“™re thought of as “˜up in the air,“™ need a landing spot, namely a data center,“ says Khanna.

A big step in that direction occurred over a year ago, when CSC partnered with the data center service provider, Terremark, to bring a highly secure, trusted hosting environment to public sector clients. Meanwhile, on the transparency front, CSC is collaborating with NIST.  CSC has proposed a cloud trust protocol, as part of an existing protocol structure, that will allow cloud service providers to expose parameters such as configurations, access control permissions, processing and data locations, evidence of compliance, etc, to convey a level of transparency that makes the end users comfortable using their cloud.

CSC plans to continue collaborating with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on standards-setting “” a crucial step given the differing approaches that are being implemented in the market today.   “Developing standards that can be embraced by all service providers in the market is going to do a lot, from an interoperability and standardization perspective,“ says Khanna.

What“™s ahead

Cloud is the “new growth platform“ for government and industry, says Khanna. “It is already changing how IT is being procured and consumed in the market,“ he adds. As for the next 10 years, Khanna ventures this prediction: “My market view is that IT, as we know it today “” which is the traditional hardware and software platforms that service providers host and charge nontrivial amounts of money  “” will essentially be free.“

So, where does that scenario leave contractors? “We have to figure out new revenue channels, new services, new applications that are built on top of this new growth platform that deliver enterprise value,“ says Khanna. “We“™ve got to bring a portfolio of next generation services that can be delivered via clouds to the market “” I feel very strongly about that.  And that“™s what we“™re doing at CSC.“

UP CLOSE: CSC CTO Yogesh Khanna

CSC's Yogesh Khanna: Four "layers" of cloud implementation will see greater demand - top government contractors - best government contracting eventFavorite website: TED.com “” “I promote it as if I own stock in that thing,“ says Khanna, adding: “I love it because you always  leave that site with a fresh idea planted in your head.“

Favorite tech gadget: iPad

Hobbies: Tracking college basketball. “My son is a student at Duke and that has made me a basketball fanatic,“ says Khanna, who, as a Virginia Tech graduate however, roots for Duke unless they’re playing against the Hokies.

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